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Gluten: What is it? And what grains contain gluten?

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Short answer: it is a protein that’s found in wheat, wheat variants, barley, and rye. These grains appear in many of the foods we eat.

But I am chagrined! It seems that I, the doctor on the team, was destined to write the six pages in our gluten-free book called:

So what’s the problem with gluten? For whom? A wee bit of science

But my “wee bit of science” never tells our readers exactly what gluten is! So my apologies for that. Maybe I should ask Jimmy Kimmel if I can be in his “What is Gluten? video (not to single out Angelenos, but they don’t seem to know, and I didn’t help matters!):

The longer answer: Gluten is formed when two proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye (gliadin and glutenin)–are mixed with water. It’s gliadin that causes the immune reaction in celiac disease. Plant scientists call these “storage proteins” because they serve as the protein source for the emerging seedling (remember that these foods are seeds).

Even if you understand what gluten is, and the fact that it’s found in wheat, barley and rye, you may not know all the varieties of wheat that don’t contain the word “wheat” in their name. Here is a longer list of grains that are genetically related to wheat and contain gluten. Remember, many foods contain hidden gluten sources based on these grains:

Wheat (all-purpose flour, bread flour, whole wheat flour, wheat bran, wheat germ, graham flour, pastry flour)

Barley and barley malt

Bulgur

Durum

Einkorn

Emmer

Faro (sometimes spelled farro)

Freekeh

Kamut

Khorosan

Rye

Semolina

Spelt

Sprouted wheat, sprouted wheat flour

Triticale

Yeast brands that contain enzymes or dough enhancers which enhance wheat doughs. Most yeast brands are fine. These enzymes/enhancers are often derived from wheat, so check to be sure your yeast is labeled “gluten free.”

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Onion Poppy Seed Twist Bread

onion twist bread | Breadin5 13

Onions and poppy seeds have to be the most aromatic and delicious combination of flavors. They have been featured on Jewish breads from Bialys, Pletzels and Bagels for centuries. Here’s a new twist (sorry couldn’t resist the bad pun) on the classics. I started with whole wheat bread, spread the savory filling on the dough, rolled it up and then cut the log in two before twisting them together, so you can see the filling peek out. The result is beautiful, but the best part of this loaf if the aroma as it bakes.  Continue reading

Jeff at the Twin Cities Book Festival this Saturday October 11

Jeff At Twin Cities Book Festival

Jeff will be at the Twin Cities Book Festival this Saturday, October 11, located in the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, at 2:00pm at the booth for Common Good Books (Garrison Keillor’s St. Paul bookstore). Jeff will be talking about the upcoming Gluten Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Author hub at there’ll be lots of other Minnesota authors on hand. 

Jeff will be at the St. Louis Park Costco for a book-signing on Saturday, October 25, 2014, from 1:00 to 3:00pm

Jeff measuring the water

Well, the picture’s a little deceptive because I won’t be demonstrating the method, but I will be signing Costco’s copies of Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day! Zoe’s in Los Angeles at another event, but I’ll be at the store in St. Louis Park, at 5801 W 16th St., St Louis Park, MN 55416, from 1:00 to 3:00pm

Crock Pot Cinnamon Rolls

crockpot cinnamon rolls | bread in 5

Well, we’ve made our Master recipe in a crock pot, our brioche in a crock pot, dinner rolls, and even our gluten-free dough in the slow cooker. It seemed a good time to add to the list, and so we took on cinnamon rolls. I’m happy to report that they work just as well; it’s as easy as rolling out dough, brushing some butter and sprinkling sugar, shaping rolls, and then letting them bake for an hour. My family couldn’t tell they weren’t baked in the oven, and my kids had the best after school snack of the year.

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We’re in Living Without’s Gluten Free & More Magazine!

Cover

Our new book, Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which officially goes on sale October 21, appears in this October-November issue of Living Without’s Gluten Free & More Magazine. Click here to read the whole piece on-line, or squint and try to read below–we’re one of Living Without’s “Favorite Books”… Continue reading

Apple and Honey Challah

Apple Challah | Breadin5 12

Tomorrow I will celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, with family and friends. It is traditional to eat lots of honey and apples during this high holy day to usher in the new year with sweetness. The challah dough from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is made with honey, then I fold chopped apples into the dough and braid it into a circle. You can do any shape you like, but the circle is meant to symbolize the full cycle of the coming year. This bread may be ubiquitous at the high holy days, but it is wonderful anytime, especially during apple picking season here in the Midwest. 

Apple Challah | Breadin5 17 Continue reading

Whole Grain Loaves without Vital Wheat Gluten, and Highlights from the Mill City Bread Festival

whole grain homemade bread

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When we wrote Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day in 2009, we made a strategic choice. We knew that most of our readers liked their bread light and fluffy, and our refrigerator storage technique could be unforgiving when you used a lot of whole grains. For some of our tasters, whole-grain bread made from wet dough stored in the fridge could be a little too dense for their taste. So we lightened things up a bit, by boosting the gluten in our whole grain doughs that appear in that book, using vital wheat gluten (VWG). Well, I’ve been experimenting on whole-grain doughs stored without VWG, and I’ve been pleased with the results. Here’s a simple alternative recipe for whole grain loaves without the added gluten. Plus, highlights from our appearance at the Mill City Bread Festival. Continue reading

We’re in the Sept/Oct edition of Simply Gluten-Free Magazine, and Jeff’s at the Mill City Bread Festival this Saturday at 10am

Simply GF Magazine

Thanks, Simply Gluten-Free Magazine, for including Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (available for pre-order) in your Fall Harvest Issue (we’re in the “How-To” books section on page 108).

GFin5 in SimplyGF Mag

And tomorrow, Saturday September 13 at 10:00am, Jeff will be tossing pizzas at the Mill City Bread Festival, hope to see you there–I’ll be doing a demo, handing out some samples, and doing an impromptu book-signing. Last year was great fun…

Tossing-the-dough

Dutch Crunch Bread

Dutch Crunch 06

How is it that I’d never tried Dutch Crunch bread, never even heard of it? It’s a loaf that seems to be ubiquitous in the San Francisco area, and it would seem that they have been keeping it all for themselves. Now that I’ve had it I can’t blame them. Dutch Crunch gets its name from a similar bread found in the Netherlands, which is called Tiger Bread (tijgerbrood or tijgerbol). It’s easy to see how it got that name. The tiger spots are created by covering the dough with a slurry of rice flour, sugar, yeast and toasted sesame oil. The fragrance of the sesame is fantastic and the slightly sweet crispy bits on the loaf are hard to resist picking off and snacking on before you ever cut into the bread.  Continue reading